When I woke, it was to kindness.
“Hey, hey kid are you okay?”
It was Mikey, freed from his glass cage and cradling me in his arms. It would have been a beautiful moment if it had been anyone but him.
“I can’t be dead,” I spluttered, “Otherwise you would be Monica Belluci.”
“I find it hard to believe,” Said Laura, herself again and kneeling down next to me. “But you saved us. You… were amazing.”
“Let’s put our hearts together!” Sang Norris, head thrown back and eyes closed, “And say we’ll leave each other never!”
I felt a pain in my chest, a hero moment I had always dreamed of, but I could not escape the feeling that was growing inside.
“I killed my father. I killed my daddy.” Tears streamed from my eyes, hating myself moreso for showing such, such weakness to Mikey of all people “I always blamed them, those creatures… thought that I had been cursed by them. But it wasn’t… it was me. It was always me.”
Mikey looked shocked, his eyes turning red as he listened to my sobbing confessional, his grip on me tightening.
“No… No it was never your fault.” He said, his voice strained. “My father… it was my father who made you all what you are. It was he who built Holding D… It was he who manipulated your genes… your minds to be his weapons. It was you who were meant to be our best defense against those creatures.”
“What are you talking about?” Laura asked in a disinterested tone, “We’ve killed the monsters, haven’t we?”
Mikey, was pale as he lowered me to the floor and got back to his feet.
“I forget that you were all raised in here. You don’t know, do you? When those creatures burst out of Steerman and his crew, that was only the beginning. Once they hit the general population, it was no time before they became pandemic. They were like a virus, a blight on humanity. You were raised here for your protection and when you were destined to be released, it would have been for ours.”
I slowly got to my feet, trembling from my exertions.
“I still don’t understand.” I wheezed, Norris coming to my side to support me.
“Perhaps… perhaps I should show you.” Mikey said and lead us down the corridor.
Through the charred and bloodied remains of Holding D we walked, dismembered body parts and blood strewn everywhere. The carcasses of humans and monsters alike lay across the ground, fumes filling the air as the ground beneath the monsters bubbled and burnt. The generators faltered, causing the lights to flicker on and off, disorienting and making everything even more nightmarish. Our home, where we had lived for most of our lives had been torn apart, raped by the creatures’ attack and my stomach churned as we walked waiting for more of them to leap at us from the darkness.
Yet, they didn’t and, finally, we came to the main gates of the compound. The great steel doors hung off their hinges, torn off by the sheer number of the attackers and Mikey lead us up to them and stepped outside. I felt a choking sensation of pure fear in my throat and the way Norris clung to me, I knew he felt the same. I had not been born to Holding D, yet I could not remember the world. I had no memory of walking in it and the thought of such immense space terrified me. Laura, of course, had no such fears and taking Norris’ hand in her left and mine in her right, she gently pulled us toward the light that burned on the other side.
“I’m scared.” I said to her.
“You’d be mad not to be.” She replied nonchalantly.
The sun burned a hole in the sky, its rays catching on the smoke that seemed to permeate the air as we exited onto a deserted city street. I turned and saw the gates had been a front, a decoy.
“Power Station 49.” The sign above the doors read, “Trespassers will be prosecuted.”
Holding D had been carved into the steaming underbelly of the city itself, like womb or a cancer. My lungs struggled to breathe, the air, the space, the sheer exhilaration of the world. Yet, there was not another soul on the street.
“What… what is this?” I asked.
“This is what I was trying to explain.” Mikey stated, stood still, eyes closed and facing the sun, “This is what you were mad to defend us against. Don’t you get it? We lost. They won.”
“The monsters won?” Laura asked.
“Not monsters.” Mikey replied, coldly. “Aliens. Once they hit the populace they multiplied. They killed and multiplied and we couldn’t stop them. By the time Steerman died on television they had already impregnated so many of the powerful… they didn’t know how to deal with something like this. There were no weapons…. That’s where you… where we came in. We were meant to be the templates for a new army. We were the guinea pigs.”
”I like guinea pigs. “Laura stated.
I looked at the drab, smoke hazed world around us; the smoking buildings, the flame strewn streets, the rotting bodies discarded throughout and the deep cut shadows that the sun threw between them.
And then I saw that they weren’t shadows at all, but nightmares, and within them held the monsters… the aliens, watching us and waiting. They were everywhere around us.
“There is no God.” I said, breathless, Norris’ hand gripping mine in complete and abject fear.”
“If there is,” Laura replied, “he sure ain’t human.”
And we walked, the four of us, into a world beyond our understanding.
“I’m scared.” I said, to no one in particular.
“You’d be mad not to be.” Laura replied.
And the shadows moved all around us.
* * *
Alien Empire CONCLUDED...
Alien Heresy IMMINENT...